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  • Safety: A $9.5 Billion Priority for Trucking

    by David Kimball | Jul 08, 2016
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    The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reports an annual investment in safety of at least $9.5 billion by the trucking industry.

    While safety training accounts for the bulk of it (36%), spending on safety compliance (25%), onboard safety technologies (25%), and safety incentive pay (13%) play significant roles as well. ATA gathered these numbers based upon data from surveys taken in 2014 and 2015.

    Maintenance costs are not included in this report; such as expenses for replacing tires or fixing brakes, and trucks, which are serious investments.

    Evolving on-board technology is a driving force in safety improvement, from collision avoidance systems and stability improvements to blind spot alerts and video recorders.

    Recent standards in regulatory compliance ensure regular vehicle and driver record checks, alcohol and drug testing, and voluntary safety audits. Bonuses and awards also incentivize drivers to be as safe as possible on the road.

    Safety investments have been paying off according to the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCA), as large truck-related fatal crashes have declined by 32% since 1980, with a rate of those incidents declining by 74%.

    Dave Osiecki, ATA Executive Vice President of National Advocacy, is pleased about these trends. “With the results of this survey, we now can put a dollar figure on that investment and that figure is significant.”

    “Before this survey, we were only able to conservatively estimate our industry’s commitment to safety,” said Kevin Burch, ATA First Vice Chairman and president of Jet Express. “Now, thanks to the efforts of ATA, we can see just how much our industry is investing in safety as well as the results of these investments – improved safety for all motorists.”

    For a more in-depth look, view the ATA Safety Investment Study PDF.

  • An Aerodynamics Strategy to Reduce Energy Consumption

    by David Kimball | Jul 01, 2016
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    Depending on a rig’s particular configuration, the types of aerodynamic implementation strategies may vary. The tips below are based upon results that assume trucks traveled at 77,500 miles on the freeway out of 100,000 overall per year. The difference was to account for how often trucks don’t drive at highway speeds. 

    Utilize gap devices. Nose fairings can help round out the front of trailers, both for sleeper-cabs and day cabs. This results up to 425 gallons of fuel each year for day cabs. Full plate seals can work as well, but are typically only effective for sleeper cabs.

    Decrease tractor-trailer gap. A study found that decreasing a 36 inch gap to 24 inches can reduce fuel consumption by 50 gallons per year. Roughly, both day-cab and sleeper models can see drag reductions by 2.7% per each foot of gap.

    Match the heights of tractors and trailers. The greater disparity of height, the greater potential consumption of fuel.

    Take advantage of underbody devices and side skirts. Full-length skirts perform better than standard and split skirts, and have been suggested to save 950 gallons and 750 gallons of fuel respectively.

    Treatment of boat tail configurations. Regardless of the type of configuration, boat tail devices in varying lengths will perform well, saving up to 500 gallons per year on fuel.

    Use side skirts on deck-type trailers. Depending on cargo, flatdeck side skirt use could save anywhere between 425 and 750 gallons per year in fuel.

    Use a variety of aero device combinations. Combining standard and extended side skirts, looking at using different lengths of boat tail, and minding gap reductions where possible can lead to even great reductions in gas consumption. 

  • Coalition’s Plan Would Ban Trucks from 2007 or Older at NJ/NY Ports

    by David Kimball | Jun 24, 2016

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    Teamsters, the Coalition for Healthy Ports, and notable Newark, N.J. politicians are asking PAYNYNJ to reinstate a ban of trucks with engines 2007 or older. 

    On June 16, a press conference was held at Newark City Hall where Newark Mayor, Ras Baraka, was joined by community activists, unions, and other key politicians to push for the aggressive plan. Previously, PAYNYNJ committed to banning 1994 and 1995 engines by 2018, as well as $1.2 million to assist in the projected $9 million in federal grants required to assist truck owners for proper replacement.

    Emissions cutting is the primary concern, with the Coalition for Healthy Ports citing recent advancements in technology that have allowed “near-zero emission trucks” to become the standard for ports in other locations. The California Air Resources Board was key in establishing the emissions standard for 2007 trucks and moving forward.

    Not everyone is in favor of this proposition. The Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers says negative repercussions would impact the majority of trucks that serve those ports, and that such a ban “would create hardship for the entire port community.”

    In addition, there are concerns about the increased maintenance costs required for CARB-compliant trucks. Alternative solutions for cleaner-air solutions have also been suggested, such as investments in anti-idling equipment that may be more cost-effective long term.

    NJ legislators are considering similar bills that would potentially impact the same areas, including NY-based ports.

    Track progress on the bills here: NJ A3788, NJ S2253.

  • Efforts to Improve Export Relations Along I-10 Are Underway

    by David Kimball | Jun 16, 2016

    Efforts to Improve Export Relations Along I-10 Are Underway
    In an effort to make travel on Interstate 10 safer and efficient for drivers that frequent the route, transportation leaders in four states have created a coalition to improve export relations.

    “The efficient flow of commerce in Arizona drives our state’s economic vitality,” stresses Arizona’s Department of Transportation Director, John Halikowski. Halikowski is joined in the coalition by Malcolm Dougherty, Director of the California Department of Transportation, Tom Church – cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Transportation, and James Bass – Executive Director of the Texas Department of Transportation. By bringing together the expertise from the four states, and introducing different policies, the coalition is looking to reduce the “friction” by applying best practices for the I-10 export route.

    Modeled after a 15-state coalition that governs Interstate 95, running the length of the east coast, the four states will enable resource sharing, joint testing and economies of scale. The coalition is hoping to solve the issue of friction by implementing “best practices” with safety and efficiency improvements, improvements in freight movement, expansion and coordination of technology, and cooperative planning.

    On top of improving traveler’s experience, the improvements could improve overall export relations. This is especially important because the four states involved hold the 10th largest economy in the world. Having an innovative plan for more efficient travel and exporting could show a decrease in shipping time and an overall drop in associated costs. With future growth taken into account, this strategic move could help curb future expenditures as the I-10 corridor slowly fills with platoons of trucks and connected vehicles, weigh-in-motion sensor, and automated truck parking lots.

  • Registration Now Open for ATA Management Conference

    by Jennifer Olsen | Jun 09, 2016
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    Registration is open for 2016 American Trucking Associations (ATA) Management Conference and Exhibition. The ATA conference begins Saturday, October 1 and runs through Tuesday, October 4 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada.

     

    With the ever changing trucking environment, the ATA Management Conference and Exhibition is the annual go-to stop of the year where industry leaders convene. The schedule of events list activities which kick off Friday, September 30. The conference begins with a golf tournament; is packed with multiple break-out sessions and wraps up with a banquet featuring award winning artist, John Fogerty.

     

    Break-out sessions include topics revolving around the regulatory and political environment, electronic logging devices, and the future of truck safety. Service awards are presented throughout the span of the conference.

    The latest products from industry suppliers will be available to attendees housed in the Shoreline Ballroom at Mandalay Bay. In addition to product displays, there are plenty of opportunities for education and networking with colleagues across the country.

    Check out ATA’s YouTube playlist which covers each day of the event form the 2015 MCE.

    This event is the preeminent, must-see industry conferences each year, and because it is geared towards high-level executives, MCE brings extensive value to each attendee,” said ATA Chairman Pat Thomas, senior vice president of state government affairs at UPS.

    Visit mce.trucking.org for more information and to register for the conference. To read more visit www.trucking.org.

  • California Clean Air Plan Calls for Further NOx, PM Reductions

    by User Not Found | Jun 01, 2016

    truck exhaustIn recent years, California has been a leader in clean-air initiatives. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently proposed their broad-reaching clean air program, State Strategy for the State Implementation Plan (State SIP Strategy), which includes a large push for low-NOx engine standards on all heavy trucks.

    As part of the plan, California aims to push the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a nationwide low-NOx engine standard. However, truck and engine manufacturers counter that low NOx in diesels could conflict with federal efforts to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions through their work in increasing overall fuel economy. 

    What could this mean to the transportation industry? It all depends on whether manufacturers will rally to set a single national standard instead of needing to build two different engines. Having a set standard would guide manufacturers in creating one engine system that would translate to various powertrains and across state lines. This could mean significantly lower manufacturing costs and help reducing entry barriers for many smaller diesel manufacturers.

    The State SIP Strategy is just a part of the larger California Sustainable Freight Action Plan. The plan, drafted in response to an executive order by Governor Jerry Brown,   calls for a target deployment of 100,000 freight vehicles and equipment capable of zero-emission power operation and would maximize near-zero emissions freight and equipment powered by renewable energy by 2030.

    The measure would most likely provide a boost in natural gas and other alternative fuels for powertrains throughout the state. Drivers can look forward to low-NOx natural gas engines, alternative fuels such as dimethyl ether (known commonly as DME), and well-known manufacturers such as Volvo leading the way.

    Read the full article on TruckingInfo.com and keep up with the latest developments and find plans on CARB’s website.

  • 34 Hour Restart Rule Addressed in THUD Bill

    by Jennifer Olsen | May 26, 2016

    34 hour restartThe 34-restart rule has been the hot topic of the industry lately. The ambiguous language surrounding the restart rule has finally been addressed. On Tuesday, May 24th The House Appropriations Committee passed a new Fiscal Year 2017 transportation spending bill. The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) funding bill will remove the 2011 restart provisions altogether - restoring the 2005 restart rules.

    The Senate passed its own version of the 2017 THUD bill on Thursday, May 19th which ties the future of any - 34-hour restart provisions directly to the results of the FMCSA’s congressionally mandated study on the 2011 restart provision.

    To continue the momentum, American Trucking Association strongly encourages a speedy resolution of differences between the Senate and House Appropriations Committee on the bill. One goal is to clarify the process so drivers can easily monitor their hours. More detailed information is available in a Q&A on ATA’s website. The ATA also noted clarity surrounding interstate trucking and regulations would benefit consumers and the national economy.

    ATA President and CEO Bill Graves stated, “in addition to allocating funding for important transportation projects, this legislation will ensure that commercial drivers can still utilize the 34-hour restart provision of the hours-of-service rules.” Read more about the approval of the Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Funding Bill.

  • Four-Week Trendlines, Freight Market Up

    by User Not Found | May 20, 2016

    Freight trends
    In 2015 the freight trend remained uneventful. What arose seemed to fizzle before developing into the disruptive events they were thought to be. Financial earnings were flat and the Transportation Services Index measured a couple point increase in industry output.

    Despite the relatively calm 2015, Strategy& points out several forces stewing beneath the surface that are changing commercial transportation and logistics customers’ needs. Customers are beginning demand more flexible, strategic and responsive supply chain networks. Some of the new trends include: the goal to reduce delivery time, the expectation of high quality handling for high quality items, the continued growth in e-commerce, and the unpredictable events from peaks in demand to natural disasters.

    “Shippers want logistics partners that can operate across their diverse supply chains and distribution networks and that are strategically inclined.” – Strategy&

    These underlying trends and new consumer needs have resulted in the emergence of different types of shippers. Strategy& names and expands on five disruptors: local network builders, crowd sourcing fillers, startup simplifiers, big data manipulators, and hybrid carriers.

    Recent DAT trendlines released finally show a glimmer of positive movement for the freight market. According to DAT Solutions, van, flatbed and reefer truckload rates experienced an increase in the first week of May. DAT is hopeful this movement is a precursor to a continued upward trend.

  • Nikola Motor Co. Announces New Electric Road Tractor

    by User Not Found | May 12, 2016

    Nikola One Electric Road TractorNikola Motor Company announced its work on a cutting edge electric tractor. With a 2,000-hp, AWD, the hybrid-electric tractor with a turbine range it is expected to cut the standard operating costs of a diesel tractor trailer in half. They are calling the vehicle, Nikola One.

    The vehicle’s proprietary turbine is able to burn many common fuels including, diesel, gasoline or natural gas and will automatically spin the generator to charge the batteries. Trevor Milton, founder and CEO of Nikola Motor Company, explains the Nikola One is designed with a range of 1,200 miles on 150 gallons of fuel and will have the ability to pull an 80,000 pound trailer up a 6% grade at 65mph.

    “By working together with some of the top engineering firms in America, we were able to design vehicles that have previously been thought impossible to design,” said Milton. The first prototype is scheduled to be displayed later this year.

  • Sleep Apnea Listening Sessions, FMCSA Seeks Input

    by User Not Found | Apr 29, 2016

    sleep apneaThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration are co-hosting three listening sessions to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on the issue.

    The sessions will be held from 10:00 am to 12:00pm and 1:30pm to 3:30pm on the dates listed below.

    • Washington, D.C., on Thursday, May 12, 2016, at the National Association of Home Builders, 1201 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005


    • Chicago, Ill., on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at the Marriott Courtyard Chicago Downtown/River North, 30 E. Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL 60611; and
    • Los Angeles, Calif., on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites, 404 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071.

    Obstructive sleep apnea causes day-time fatigue and drowsiness due to poor quality sleep. This poses a concern to the trucking and railroad community for those occupying safety-sensitive positions in the industry. The sessions will discuss the effect on safety, and the cost and benefits of imposing regulations.

  • Senate Focuses on Hours of Service Fix and Proposed Speed Limiter Rule

    by User Not Found | Apr 22, 2016
    Senate Transportation Bill

    The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced the transportation spending bill on April 21 after addressing the status of the 34-hour restart if the Department of Transportation’s study cannot show the benefits to drivers. The provision in the FY2017 bill speaks to preventing driver abuse of the restart rule stating, “If the 34-hour restart rule in effect on June 30, 2013, is restored, then drivers who use the 34-hour restart may not drive after being on duty more than 73 hours in a 7-day period."

    The new wording surrounding the 34-restart is appreciated and accepted by some of the large trucking advocates like the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

    The bill also demands the Transportation Department to release its proposed rule for speed limiters for Class 7 and 8 trucks by April 28, 2016. Read more about the $16.9 billion in discretionary appropriations and the $44 billion from the Highway Trust Fund.

  • Freight Remains Low Despite Seasonal Boost

    by User Not Found | Apr 14, 2016

    Spot market freight volume saw a boost of 38% in the month of March but according to the DAT North American Freight Index it still remains at one of its lowest levels in years. When compared to the previous month, freight availability in flatbed, van, and reefer volume all increased. However year over year spot market freight availability fell 35%.

    March 2016 Trucking Freight

    Photo Source: DAT Solutions

    The silver lining; since January of 2015, freight has continually declined until March 2016 where we have finally seen an uptick. The industry is hopeful the upward trend will continue.

  • Distinguished Woman in Logistics Award Winner Announced!

    by User Not Found | Apr 08, 2016

    Women in Trucking WinnerShelley Simpson was announced the winner of the Women in Trucking Association’s Distinguished Women in Logistics award at the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) 2016 “Capital Ideas” Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas. The award was co-sponsored by TMW Systems and Truckstop.com. Simpson is the executive vice president, chief marketing officer and president of Integrated Capacity Solutions and Truckload for J.B. Hunt.

    “Choosing the winner among these three finalists was not an easy decision,” said Ellen Voie, president and CEO of Women in Trucking. “Shelley is very deserving of this award. Increasing revenue by nearly $2 billion over a five-year period shows she is a mover and knows how to get things done. She is well-respected not only as a woman in logistics, but also as a mentor to many women.”

    She had formidable competition in the other finalists, Elizabeth Fretheim, director, Logistics Sustainability at Walmart and Liz Lasater, CEO of Red Arrow Logistics. Both highly skilled and seasoned with experience, all three women have made great gains for the transportation industry as a whole.

  • 200,000 Job Increase in March

    by User Not Found | Mar 31, 2016

    The month of March saw great gains in employment in the private sector. According to the National Employment Report from payroll processor ADP, a total of 200,000 jobs in US nonfarm private business sector were added from February to March. Below are more March stats released;

    Change in business by size:increased employment

    Small (1-49) increased 86,000 jobs

    Midsized (50-499) increased 75,000 jobs

    Large (500+) increased 39,000 jobs

    Change by sector and industry:

    Goods-producing sector increased 9,000 jobs

    Construction sector increased 17,000 jobs

    Manufacturing sector increased 3,000 jobs

    Service Providing sector increased by 191,000 jobs

    Trade, Transportation & Utilities increased by 42,000 jobs

    Financial Activities increased by 14,000 jobs

    Professional & Business increased by 28,000 jobs

    With the increase in jobs, consumer confidence has also improved, manifested through modest gains in spending and incomes.

    “The consumer appears to be on still-fragile, albeit still-positive footing despite stagnant wage growth, only modest improvement in the jobs market and limited confidence surrounding the sustainability of the U.S. recovery, said Piegza. “Nevertheless, thanks in part to lower gas prices, consumers feel slightly wealthier and continue to do what they do best, spend, even if that additional cash comes amid ongoing global weakness and volatility.”

  • Tonnage Trending Up!

    by User Not Found | Mar 24, 2016
    Freight Trending up

    February’s upward trend is noteworthy when comparing tonnage rates for February 2015. The index is up 8.6% year-to-date compared with last year’s index which was up only 4.5%.

    This is good news for the transportation industry which started the year at a sluggish pace. February’s increase is the largest monthly move for truck tonnage index in two years.

    “I’m still concerned about the elevated inventories throughout the supply chain," Bob Costello, chief economist of American Trucking Associations said. "Last week, the Census Bureau reported that relative to sales, inventories rose again in January, which is troubling. We need those inventories reduced before trucking can count on more consistent, better freight volumes.”

    While companies wait for surplus inventory to reduce, the outlook is bright when reflecting on the overall index surges.

  • A Month of Winners!

    by User Not Found | Mar 15, 2016

    Highway Angel of the Year and Best Fleet Awards

    March was a month of winners at this year's Truckload Carriers Association and CarriersEdge Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. 

    Highway Angel of the Year was awarded to Josh Grimaldi, Prime, Inc. truck driver.

    Josh Grimaldi was recognized for his quick reaction helping a pregnant woman from her crushed car during an icy accident. As Highway Hero of the Year, Grimaldi received a trophy, EpicVue satellite TV package with a 24-inch flat screen TV, a DVR and one year subscription to DirecTV.

    Fleet Safety and Best Fleets to Drive For awards were awarded to Bison Transport and FTC Transportation.

    Bison Transport and FTC Transportation were chosen from a list of the top 20 finalists in the “Best Fleets to Driver For” survey and contest. Bison Transport won in the larger carrier category and FTC won in the small carrier category. Both carriers showed a driver satisfaction rate above 90% and a driver turnover rate of less than 30%. Read more.

    “Both have taken a holistic approach to improving fleet operations and working to build a more efficient, more inclusive fleet that all drivers can benefit from,” said Jane Jazrawy, CEO of CarriersEdge. “As a result, they have happier drivers, who focus on doing their jobs better, leading to better safety and more efficient operations. This, in turn, makes everyone happier… and the cycle continues.”

  • Safety-Fitness Rulemaking Comment Period Extended

    by User Not Found | Mar 11, 2016

    Truck Safety Upon the requests of the trucking associations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended the public comment period for the proposed rule on safety fitness determinations for motor carriers. Comments are due on June 23, 2016.

    The proposed rule would replace the current three-tier rating system (satisfactory-conditional-unsatisfactory) with simply a determination of “unfit.”

    Per FMCSA, the proposed methodology would determine when a carrier is not fit to operate commercial motor vehicles based on:

    • The carrier’s performance in relation to a fixed failure threshold established in the rule for five of the agency’s Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs)
    • Investigation results; or
    • A combination of on-road safety data and investigation information

    Once a carrier is deemed “unfit” they are required to either improve operations or cease operations. The rule would also increase the amount of companies the FMCSA is allowed to assess for safety fitness each month from 15,000 to 75,000.

    Read more about the details of the proposed rule; don’t miss your chance to give input.

  • WIT Distinguished Woman in Logistics Award Finalists Announced!

    by Super Admin | Mar 01, 2016

    February, 2016 - Women in Trucking recently announced its three finalists for the second annual Distinguished Woman in Logistics Award. The award is to highlight the achievements of women in the North American transportation industry. Each finalist has demonstrated tremendous leadership at some of the industry’s premier companies.

    “The award highlights the vital roles of leading women in the dynamic and increasingly influential field of commercial transportation and logistics, which encompasses both logistics service providers as well as motor carriers.”

    The finalists are:

    Elizabeth Fretheim WIT Finalist

    Elizabeth Fretheim, Director of Logistics Sustainability, Walmart – Elizabeth provides strategic direction to the third largest private fleet in the nation and over 150 distribution centers. Over the past 10 years she has saved more than $3.5 billion through sustainability efforts and initiatives.


    Shelley Simpson WIT Finalist

    Shelley Simpson, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer and President of Integrated Capacity Solutions and Truckload for J. B. Hunt – Over the past five years, Shelley has increased revenue from $4.5 to $6.2 billion  for J. B. Hunt, leading her business unit to rank among the top five of third party logistics companies in the industry.


    Liz Lasater WIT Finalist

    Liz Lasater, Founder and Red Arrow Logistics Chief Executive Officer – Liz possesses more than 20 years of broad international and domestic experience in global transportation and logistics. She speaks worldwide on supply chain trends and how to utilize technology for solutions. Her presence on numerous transportation boards shows her commitment and love for the industry.


    The winner will be announced Friday, April 8, during the TIA Annual Business Meeting and Opening Session at the Grand Hyatt, San Antonia, TX.

  • ATA Hires New SVP of Legislative Affairs

    by Super Admin | Mar 01, 2016

    February, 2016 - The American Trucking Associations hired Mike Joyce as the new Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs on February 16, 2016. He has a variety of expertise stemming from Capitol Hill and the trucking industry. His impressive resume includes, Director of Government Relations for ATA allied member PACCAR Inc., and working under Congressmen Bud Shuster, Bill Shuster, and Mac Collins.

    “Much of the value of a membership of ATA comes from the advocacy efforts put forth by the staff in Washington, specifically on Capitol Hill,” said Dave Osiecki, ATA Executive Vice President and Chief of National Advocacy. “Mike’s depth of knowledge and experience with the issues that impact trucking the most made him an obvious choice for us and will make him a valuable member of the advocacy team.”

  • 8 Things to Keep in Mind During the ELD Transition

    by Super Admin | Mar 01, 2016

    Electronic Logging Device

    February, 2016 - Joe DeLorenzo, of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), spoke on what changes to expect regarding electronic logging devices (ELDs) at the Omnitracs Outlook 2016 user Conference on February 2, 2016. On February 16, manufacturers will be able to register and self-certify their ELD products. Drivers are expected to adopt the use of ELDs by Dec. 16, 2017.

    To reduce the anxiety some may be feeling about the ELD mandate, DeLorenzo talked about 8 key things to remember during the transition period.

    1. Enforcement officers are transitioning, too.
    2. Know what the ELD rule does and doesn’t do.
    3. Use the transition period to do some homework.
    4. Better driver training/knowledge will mean smoother roadside inspections.
    5. Law enforcement may default to printout/display option to access log info.
    6. Understand how ELD logs can be edited.
    7. Know about anti-driver harassment provisions with ELDs.
    8. Be aware of documentation requirements – and keeping “bookends.”

    Read how DeLorenzo expands on each of these thoughts.

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